Jun 21 2019

The Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee will meet in the Emergency Operations Center, Police Department, 403 Highland Avenue at 7 pm on  Tuesday, June 25.  The meeting is open to the public. The meeting will not be broadcast or visually recorded. Minutes of the meetings are not kept.

Background, backup agenda information has not been made available to this media outlet or the public in general. Results of the Committee’s recommendations are transmitted to the City Council via a letter from the Committee Chair.  

No minutes have been on the Committee agendas verifying Committee approval. The City website states: “Meetings of the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee are recorded for the purposes of creating minutes. Audio files for meetings are available from the City Clerk’s office at (510) 420-3040.”

Agenda June 25, 2019

  1. Update on the Committee’s Review of the Parcel Tax Pursuant to Resolution 120-14.
  2. Consideration of Scheduling Future Meetings

The Budget Advisory Committee reviews and provides comment and recommendations on Capital Projects over $250,000, annual budget, five year projections of the City’s annual budget proposal, parcel taxes, proposed funding and expenditures from several long term funds, and the proposed mid-year budget.

The committee members per Council policy are exempted from and thus not required to provide conflict of interest statements to the City, hence public review is not available.

Committee member names as listed on the City 6/21/19 website are provided below.  Contact numbers for the Committee members are not publicly listed.

Roster 

Council Liaison: Robert McBain – rmcbain@piedmont.ca.gov – (VM) 420-3048
Staff Liaison: Michael Szczech – mszczech@piedmont.ca.gov – (W) 420-3045

Cathie Geddeis

Bill Hosler

Deborah Leland

Christina Paul

Maya Rath

Michael Reese

Frank Ryan

Chris Kwei (Alternate)

For further information, contact Staff Liaison and Finance Director: Michael Szczech – mszczech@piedmont.ca.gov – (W) 420-3045

Jun 18 2019

Based on a plan developed by Piedmont residents William Blackwell and Chuck Oraftik in 2009-2010, the City has been pursuing enlargement of Coaches Field on Moraga Avenue across from Blair Park that will allow use by baseball, soccer, and other field sports. 

To enlarge the playing surface the new plan calls for cutting into the hillside located adjacent to the Corporation Yard at Red Rock Road and Moraga Avenue, adding night lighting, and increasing the number of available parking spaces.

To view the staff report and the concept plan for Coaches Field produced by Callander & Associates, click below:

06/17/19 – Receipt of a Report Regarding the Concept Plan for the Coaches Field Expansion by Callander & Associates

With the acceptance of the design concept by the City Council, environmental work is being sought.  Click below to read the Request for Proposals.

06/17/19 – Consideration of the Issuance of a Request for Proposals for CEQA Services for the Coaches Field Renovation Project

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Jun 18 2019

The City of Piedmont will celebrate its 54th annual Independence Day Parade this year on Thursday, July 4, starting at 11 a.m. at the corner of Highland Avenue and Park Way ending at Piedmont Main Park.

Each year the community is invited to participate at no cost with neighborhood floats and entries from various community organizations. The Piedmont parade is unique for the appearance of several bagpipe bands in keeping with the city’s Scottish traditions, and with a rich array of dozens of antique and classic cars.

A Grand Marshal historically leads the parade, which is less than eight blocks, ending just past Piedmont Park. A festive community picnic is held in Piedmont Park following the parade, with music provided by Pride and Joy on the main stage.

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Preceding the parade, a Piedmont tradition, the Pancake Breakfast will be held from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM in the Veterans’ Hall. Join your friends and neighbors for a hearty breakfast before the parade begins! Tickets are available at the door or can be purchased in advance. 

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If your neighborhood is planning on holding an Independence Day block party, click to download the 4th of July Street Closure Request Form, which is due to the City Clerk’s Office no later than 5:00PM on Friday, June 28th.

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Please Be Considerate with Parade Chairs!

As the 4th of July Parade is nearing and residents are beginning to scout out the best viewing spots for the parade, residents are asked to be considerate of each other when placing chairs for parade viewing on Highland Avenue.

Specifically, be considerate when placing chairs in front of homes and businesses. Don’t block access from the street to the sidewalk, so people getting out of cars to visit their neighbors and local businesses can do so without fear of falling. Keep people in mind who have mobility issues when deciding where to place chairs.

Placing chairs on the sidewalk next to Bus Stops is not allowed. It will block people who are trying to use AC Transit to get around and could block the handicapped lift.

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All are invited to the pancake breakfast, 54th Annual July 4th Parade, and the party in Piedmont Main Park!

Questions? Contact Piedmont Recreation Department at:

Cora Wood, Administrative Assistant

prd@piedmont.ca.gov

(510) 420-3070

Jun 18 2019

The City Council on June 17, 2019 formalized the employment of City Administrator, Sara Lillevand.  Lillevand’s monetary compensation will be $225,000 per year, plus a car allowance of $600 per month.  The City Administrator serves as an “at will employee.” If terminated by the City Council, Lillevand will receive 6 months of total compensation.

Mayor McBain and Councilmember Cavenaugh negotiated the Employment Agreement with Ms. Lillevand.

Read the report below for additional details of the contract. 

06/17/19 – Consideration of the Appointment of Sara Lillevand as City Administrator Effective July 15, 2019 and an Employment Agreement Setting Annual Salary at $225,000 as well as Terms and Conditions of Employment

Jun 18 2019

Qualified Single-family Occupants with Certified Physical Limitations Will Not Submit New Supporting Documents Annually

Finding that repeated validation of approved application is costly and time consuming for Piedmont staff, the City has decided to follow other cities lead and go to an honor system after initial approval of backyard refuse service. 

The policy has the following provisions:

1.The applicant must complete and submit an application form.

2.With the initial application, the applicant must submit a doctor’s certification or a current California disability parking placard.

3.As a component of the application, the applicant must verify that there are no able-bodied residents or caretakers in the household that can move the carts to the curb.

4.There is no application fee.

5.The exemption must be renewed annually, and the City will provide an annual reminder of the renewal requirement.

6.City staff provides a list of approved applicants to Republic Services.

Staff has found that the annual renewal requirement is not necessary.

Read the report below for more details.

06/17/19 – Consideration of an Amendment to the Policy Allowing for Residents with Certain Physical Limitations to Receive “On-Premises” (Backyard) Service at Curbside Rates

Jun 18 2019

Piedmont pieces together funding for Oakland Avenue Bridge pedestrian railings and accepts bid for the installations.  The railings will be on both sides of the bridge sidewalks.

To view the railing design and read the contract, click below:

06/17/19 – Consideration of a Resolution Awarding the Contract for the Oakland Avenue Bridge Pedestrian Railing Project to Valentine Corporation in the Amount of $343,369, Approving an Overall Budget for the Project, and Determining that the Project is Exempt from the Requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act

Jun 18 2019

Goats For Fire Load Reduction

The City of Piedmont has retained the services of some highly trained, four legged grass-eaters to reduce the fire load on City property near Coaches Field, the skate park, and the Corporation Yard. They will begin work on June 15th.

Photo of Goats!

If you are in the area, please do not feed the goats, they are not pets and aren’t friendly. Also, please do not touch the fencing, it is electrified.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Piedmont Fire Department at (510)420‐3030.


Jun 14 2019

Non-resident students are sought for the upcoming Piedmont school year.

The Piedmont Unified School District has announced the application process which begins on June 24, 2019 for inter-district non-resident student transfers into the Piedmont Unified School District for the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year.

June 13, 2019

The Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) announces the opportunity for interested families to apply for interdistrict transfers for the 2019-2020 school year.  Currently, there are openings at the Kindergarten level.  With approximately 15 kindergarten spaces available, a lottery will be held if there are more applications than space availability.

Additionally, new to 2019, the Board of Education revised Board Policy and Administrative Regulation (AR) 5117 that permits children of grandparents who currently reside in the city of Piedmont to apply for an interdistrict transfer. 

Enrollment will be based on the priority order outlined in AR 5117 and space availability.

Interested families can find more information about interdistrict permits on our District’s website www.piedmont.k12.ca.us under the “District Info Tab” – Admission and Enrollment. http://www.piedmont.k12.ca.us/district-info/enrollment/

The application process includes:

1. Complete an interdistrict permit (contact your school district of residence for the form).

2. Visit your district of residence and submit the completed interdistrict permit for approval. Your district may require additional items and/or an in-person visit. Please speak with them about their requirements for your permit.

3. Once you have been approved by your district of residence, please submit the original approved permit, along with the required proofs outlined in AR 5117, to Sylvia Eggert, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, PUSD, 760 Magnolia Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611.

4. PUSD will begin processing submitted interdistrict permits on June 24, 2019. If your permit is approved, you will be contacted by a PUSD representative by August 1, 2019.

READ the full policy below:

Board Policy and Administrative Regulation (AR) 5117 

http://www.piedmont.k12.ca.us/district-info/enrollment/

Questions ? Contact Administrative Assistant Sylvia Eggert at 510.594.2614 or seggert@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Jun 14 2019

Los Angeles voters soundly defeated a proposal to support LA schools based on a per square footage of interior space of buildings.  The owner of a 2,000 square-foot-house would have paid $320 a year to support the schools.

Measure EE would have raised an estimated $500 million annually for 12 years by charging property owners 16 cents per square foot of indoor space, excluding parking areas. … Los Angeles Times

To read the article below, click the headline:

Los Angeles voters decisively reject parcel tax that would have raised $500 million annually for schools

Jun 12 2019

Piedmont School Board
c/o Randy Booker, Superintendent

re: June 12, 2019 Agenda item: School Taxes

Dear President Smith and Board,

I.      I take exception to Mr. Booker’s comments May 22 at 3:48 that a single square foot building tax would not allow the District to have a separate flat tax on unimproved parcels.  I again cite two sources:
– SB2954 (2018) Legislation allows a separate unimproved parcel rate.
– Alameda School District’s 2011 Measure A square foot of building tax with a separate flat rate for unimproved parcels and the identical 2016 Measure B1 tax; both these taxes withstood legal challenges.  Significantly, Judge Petrou in his 2018 stipulated judgement required a flat rate tax on unimproved parcels to bring Measure B1 in alignment with Measure A (source: Sean McPhetridge, AUSD Superintendent,  4/4/2018 Press Release).

II.     While identifying all parcels by their Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) is welcome, having multi-parcel owners combine parcels to a single APN to avoid paying multiple taxes is a problematic solution. Combining parcels at the County level eliminates some buildable lots. Should the owners wish to recapture these parcels, the process is not simple and is done at the City level.  Applications, surveys and new legal descriptions on new recorded documents would be required. This does not respect Piedmont taxpayers who have been so generous in their School support. Finally, eliminating buildable size parcels works against Piedmont’s requirement of meeting State mandates of providing more housing.
A multi-parcel exemption handled by the District is the proper and simple solution.

III.    I again propose a single $1.15 per square foot building tax which gives the District a 15% increase in tax revenue.  This acknowledges that Piedmonters have been very generous in their District support and a 25% in total increase is excessive.

Respectfully,
Rick Schiller, Piedmont Resident

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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